Friday, January 11, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He stiffed workers—again.

About a quarter of the federal government has been shut down for the past 20 days. The reason is that Trump refuses to sign any appropriations bill that doesn't include money for a $5.7 billion down payment on a border wall with Mexico. 

Today, as a result, 800,000 federal workers received pay stubs for $0.00—either because they had been laid off, or because they had been required to work without pay.

While this is the largest single number of workers that Trump has refused to pay at one time, it's actually a fairly common tactic for him. As a private citizen, Trump is a defendant in something like 1,500 lawsuits, literally hundreds of which deal with contractors or employees he refused to pay after they had done their work. 

Trump did not include any request for border wall money in the 2019 budget proposal he actually sent to Congress. The "emergency" nature of his border wall demand came at the very end of the appropriations process, after political commentators popular with some of his supporters started making fun of him.

Why is this bad?

  • It is wrong to force people to work without paying them.
  • A president who doesn't understand that missing a paycheck is a big deal for many Americans is too incompetent to serve.